Totally vintage-inspired dress and upcycle. Pretty proud.

Pretty proud of the makeover I did on this vintage piece last weekend to wear to a coworker's holiday cocktail party on Saturday. Let me tell you the story.


Ages ago (in the Goodwill bins, I think) I picked up this fabulous 60's lace dress that had a few holes and no zipper.  But this lace is great, heavy, not scratchy at all... they just don't make it like this anymore.  Well, I bet they do, but it's megaspensive!

Poor dress...

But I had a vision for it.  I hate cutting up vintage stuff, unless it's not really repairable or wearable.  But this kinda was, and not my size anyway.  I imagined the bodice part becoming the overlay on a dress, and the skirt being a contrast skirt for another dress!  Still need to work on that one, but I did turn the bodice into something cute and wearable!

My vision was sort of early 60's-inspired but shorter and more playful.  Zooey Deschanel does this look quite well, duh.  Kind of in the same vein as this kind of ModCloth dress...

So I cut it apart.  (For how to cut apart and reuse a vintage garment, see this post).  For the skirt and base bodice fabric I used some navy twill someone gave me tons of a while back (score!) and Simplicity 2444, without any sleeves.  I cheated a little in that I didn't give the dress a lining at all; I used the right side of the navy and the right side of the lace, so all my seam allowances are exposed on the inside.  To finish off the armholes and neck opening I used a black cotton sateen bias strip.


Super fast and easy way to do it!  This took me... let's see, I can time it by what I was watching at the time... one episode of Pan Am and three episodes of New Girl.  I was catching up on Hulu.


I cut down the center back, just for fun, to give it a V-neck line.


O' course, it's December and was about 36 outside when we left, so I had to have tights and closed-toe shoes!


I felt very retro and cute!  And I was wearing my new fave lipstick that stays on FOREVER so I had red lips ALL evening.  Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick--this color is Top Tomato.  Looooove it I have like three colors.

And my silver nail polish and rhinestone jewelry helped keep it festive!


29 comments

  1. I love this pattern and fabric combination so much! Would actually buy this! :)

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  2. That is so beautiful!!! I bet everyone was ooohing and ahhhing!

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  3. Oh I wish I had your skill - you make beautiful dresses!

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  4. This is too gorgeous for words. Well done!

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  5. oh girl, i love this!! and ive been looking for the perfect red lipstick and i cant find it. im almost convinced to trek to clinique and have them match me a color, but that means forking over probably $20 for one tube. but it is christmas, right?!?! lol

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  6. You look adorable in this dress. And thanks for the tip about the lipstick! The stuff I have rubs off five minutes after I put it on.

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  7. oh my god, suzannah. this is, i think, my favorite of everything you've ever made. and i've been reading for a LONG time! i adore this dress. i so wish i could sew like you!

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  8. This looks so amazing!!

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  9. I absolutely love this!!!! It feels very retro. the fabric combination is so pretty and I love the bow!

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  10. What a lovely dress! I adore that pattern - it's easily one of my faves!

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  11. Ooh I just picked up that pattern last weekend, great inspiration!

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  12. This one is really fabulous, you look like you stepped out of the pages of Madmen! Love it!

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  13. So well done! I love a v-back dress! Girl, you rock.

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  14. Super fabulous!! Great upcycle!!!

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  15. What an awesome dress! It looks great--good job!

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  16. Anonymous12/13/2011

    The link for the "Reuse a vintage garment" post doesn't work!!! You look great in that dress, good job!

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  17. I love this dress!! What a super cute idea and it came out fantastic!

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  18. Wow! You've done it again, great job I love it!!

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  19. Love it!! Great Job!

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  20. I completely love it! The lace overlay is all the rage and I can't help but love a dress that has it! The little bow is so cute too.

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  21. Wowee!! That is so pretty, soooo cool & you look gorgeous in it. Super vision & super skills. Thx for sharing.

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  22. OOh this dress is just so gorgeous, you look fab in it! x

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  23. i really love this look! great job :)

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  24. What a big WOW!!!!! You really hit the ball out of the park on this one!!! You look fantastic and that dress is so beautiful and chic. I am totally green with envy!! =}
    Congrats on this one. You always impress me.
    Betsy in cold & gray Seattle burbs

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  25. ohhh super fabulous!! that is an awesome dress!

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  26. SUPER LOVE!!!!

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  27. Just found your blog . . . and I'm loving it! Especially, this post AND the one about making the skirt AND the one about . . . !!! :)

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    Replies
    1. Aww, thanks! This was a fun dress to upcycle into two garments!

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